Tuesday, May 24, 2016
The Continual Learning Curve of DNA
Perhaps it's that I just don't get it. After all, genetic genealogy can be an imposing topic to get your head around. And I feel like I'm continually learning. But never having learned.
To remedy that, I've made sure to register for the separate DNA Day preceding the Southern California Genealogical Society's Jamboree 2016 at the beginning of June. This has become a yearly event for me—a real treat to glean from a smorgasbord of DNA topics presented by an impressive array of much-appreciated speakers.
Despite having had the treat, last January, of a week of intensive training in the subject under the direction of Blaine Bettinger at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy 2016, I can still stand to learn more about the topic. I'm a hands-on learner who needs constant refresher courses if I don't keep my own hands in the mix all the time. Though I was dismayed to see the Ontario Genealogical Society lure away my favorite regulars from past SCGS DNA Day events, it looks like this will simply be the chance to meet many other, equally-impressive speakers in this realm.
One unexpected luminary in the DNA speakers lineup this year turns out to be certified genealogist Thomas W. Jones, Ph.D., who will present "Using Autosomal DNA to Solve a Family Mystery." I'm particularly curious about this presentation for one specific reason: while working on my husband's own autosomal results last year, one particularly promising distant cousin turned out to have an administrator by a different name than her own—someone by the name of Thomas Jones. Upon emailing that administrator, sure enough, it turned out to be the Thomas Jones. He graciously thanked me for my contact but explained that he was pursuing a specific goal with that particular person's Family Finder test, which involved relatives in New York. While my husband's Ohio branch of the family may have matched this woman's tree—at a distant level—this was not the focus of the project he was working on at the time.
I suspect the project he was working on was the very narrative he'll present at the SCGS conference this June. And you know I'm curious to see what it was.